William Hull, former provost and dean at Southern Seminary, dies at 83

Communications Staff — December 12, 2013

p.hulw.003William Hull, 83, former provost and dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, died Dec. 10 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to a press release from Samford University.

Hull taught New Testament at the seminary for 17 years, during which time he served as dean of the School of Theology and the seminary’s first provost. He then, in 1975, became the pastor of First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., and in 1987 he became the provost at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

“Bill Hull was a gifted scholar and a born leader, and he stood as a giant in his generation of Southern Baptists,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the seminary. “He was a dedicated professor and a gifted administrator, who helped to define the roles of dean and provost at Southern Seminary.

“My personal acquaintance with Dr. Hull goes back over 30 years. He was always friendly to me, even as we represented two very different visions for both Southern Seminary and the Southern Baptist Convention. He was one of the most incisive intellects of his age, and a conversation with Bill Hull could never be boring. Furthermore, he was generous with his thoughts and analyses, sharing these with the public through his careful writings and influential lectures. The history of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 20th century cannot be written without him.”

“The last conversation I had with Dr. Hull happened as I called him to let Dr. and Mrs. Hull know of the death of professor Wayne Ward, with whom he had long taught,” Mohler said. “Though he was struggling with the ALS he had bravely fought, Dr. Hull insisted on taking the phone. The brief and labored conversation reminded me of the dignity and intelligence of this gifted scholar. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hull family.”

Hull earned a bachelor’s degree from Samford University 1951, and then bachelor of divinity and doctor of theology degrees from Southern Seminary. He was a widely published and cited author of works on theological and preaching matters.

He leaves behind his son David Hull and his daughter Susan Hull Walker. His wife, Wylodine, died in 2012.

The family will hold a memorial service at 2 p.m., Monday, Dec. 16 at Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

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